How To Get Into A Trade

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Mammoth Workwear are a UK based company that specialises in providing workwear for tradespeople – including brands such as Helly Hansen and Dickies.

Starting a career in a skilled trade can be a brilliant option to take, no matter your age or your background. As a skilled tradesperson, you open up many doors for yourself in securing much better job prospects than those available from other careers, and also the chance to emigrate and take your skills to a country where they are needed. Skilled tradespeople represent a small proportion of the working population, and this is especially true with increasing numbers of people taking the college route. They are thus in high demand, which means excellent job prospects and the chance to earn an excellent income.

Knowledge, Research and Education

The skilled trades include the traditional and well-known trades such as building, plumbing, mechanical trades and electrical trades, and other less well-known trades such as maintenance engineering and construction science. Each of these trades has their own route of entry which you must understand, and requires at least a number of years of training. There are hundreds of available trades to get into, and you should perform extensive research on the ones that interest you the most.

Look at the demand and the current growth of the industry in question, and the level of earnings you would expect to receive once you are fully qualified. Once you have an idea of the trade you would like to approach, you should focus your initial research efforts on local unions and companies that sponsor apprenticeship programs, and research educational courses and get learning, even if you cannot find a suitable apprenticeship course at first. Research government regulations that surround working trades to see which particular qualifications are needed for the trade in question.

Employment and Training

The first step will begin either with college programs and then paid apprenticeship courses, a direct route into apprenticeship, or a mixture of the two. If you are still in school, then you will have many educational options. If you are older and have problems such as non-completion, you should contact work agencies to understand your route to apprenticeship.

For trades like plumbing and electrics, learning will go alongside practical work for a number of years, perhaps with company or organisation sponsorship. This period of training lasts between 2 and 5 years, providing you with relatively small earnings at first but more as your skills develop.

For the more complex and demanding trades like construction science and maintenance engineering, it is often the best option to do a full bachelor’s degree, and indeed certain skilled trades demand nothing less. Many colleges offer the popular 2-year program which offer a quick route into the most common skilled trades, but may limit your options upon completion in comparison to a full degree.

If you perform well and are able to complete your training, you will be provided with the certification and licensing needed to become a fully-fledged tradesperson in your field. You may have to perform examinations to acquire licensing, or be provided with licensing automatically at the end of apprenticeship. Be aware that your initial certifications may not be enough, as many extras are needed in working for the public for example, especially when working with dangers like electricity.

Above all, getting into a trade requires determination and motivation, as anyone working a skilled trade today will tell you.

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